Rose and the stones

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To have a sister married into the Rolling Stones was an extraordinary experience for a seventeen year old boy. Before meeting Mick Taylor, Rose had already been out with Muddy Waters and Peter Green of Fleetwood Mac, and was good friends with stars like Georgie Fame, Long John Baldry and Rod Stewart.

She had always been wild from the age of fifteen. Expelled from St Paul’s school. She was also car-stoppingly gorgeous.

When the Stones went on tour she took me along with her. I had a kind of court function somewhere between the jester, the minstrel and the eunuch in the harem. The band had all their male helpers. There was also the entourage of record company executives and aristocratic hangers-on. Then there were the wives and girlfriends, including Bianca Jagger and Anita Pallenberg, who were pretty much under house arrest. My role was to be with them.

I was young, thin, pretty, intellectual, straight, harmless and Rose’s brother. That meant I was safe and unlikely to get any of them into trouble. The girls had a lot of time on their hands and they liked me. Rose was proud of me, a bit like she would have been of a pet dog. I looked the part and I played ‘proper guitar’ and piano, so I could entertain them backstage and in the hotel foyers. I would do crosswords with them, read poetry and explain Shakespeare’s plays. I wasn’t exactly on a lead, but I could have been. I was conspicuous but insignificant.

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